It seems like a endless problem – naturists seems mainly to be male, 45+. I would love if there were more young people.
I myself is of the male gender just turned 41. I am probably what you would call in between age, I am not one of those you would call “a young naturist”, but I am not one of the old naturists either. I have a lovely wife and a wonderful son, and I love being naked whenever it feels comfortable.
I believe that the great majority of middle- older men in the naturist community. It provides a “bad” spiral where there certainly is some of the young and some women who are scared off. Not that there is anything to be scared of. There are hardly more evil and perverse men among nudists than among other communities.
There are probably many reasons for why there are much more men in naturist societies than a woman – but this is not what I want to discuss in this post. What I want to discuss is why so few young people is a naturist, and why they are scared off Body issues, activities and being part of a group that you feel like you can associate with might be some of the reasons why young people keep away from naturist environments.
I think that many young people prefer to be among other young people, therefore groups like Young Naturist America and DUN in Denmark is good examples of groups for young people. I think that it is a really good thing that they are present. This helps the acceptance of naturism among young people. Unfortunately, there are not that many of these communities as far as I know of and what if you really just want to be among diversities – among young, children, woman, men, disabled. Another thing is that many naturist resorts, naturist camping, and naturist hotels don’t have much for the young.
Maybe we should take a look at what young people want if they want to be a part of some kind of society. Here are my thoughts – they might be totally wrong, but here goes – 4 reasons!
Party (reason 1)
I think that many likes to party in their youth. Of course, you can’t have parties all night, every night on a naturist resort which is for all ages. What I think could be done is that some of the “parties” on the naturist resorts (and other places) might be a bit boring for many of the young people. The music might not be what they consider party music, the environment and so on might not be that exciting for young people. Maybe there could be a youth night and there could be a lounge where young people would like to hang out. A party in my terminology does not need to be a wild party with loud music. It might as well be the atmosphere that is different – eg. could be a place where it is possible to hang out with other young, maybe play some table football. There are many ways to party- maybe it is time to ask what kind of party the young would prefer.
Sexuality (reason 2)
When you are young sex has a large place in your mind, you want to explore and not something is hidden away. Some might say that sex never stop being a big part of one’s life, even though it may be taboo to talk about it. The difference is that as a young, you are inexperienced and has a huge urge for adventure and plenty of courage to live life to the fullest. It, therefore, can be difficult for young people if it is something that gets stored away. In many naturist contexts, sex is something that is put some distance too. The reason is of course that there is no desire to breathe more life into the very widespread misconception about naturism/nudism is about sex. Perhaps it is the time that we reduce the distance to the sex topic.
I’m not sure how we can break down barriers – because I certainly don’t want naturist places to become swinger clubs or the like. I do not wish that naturist resorts/places becomes like Cap d’Agdes reputation. What I wish is just that we get a little more relaxed about the fact that we all are sexual people. I think that it is ok that people flirt and have a good time without escalating it to public sex. Sex is still something which should happen in respect for other people meaning that sex is something which should be practiced in the hotel room/at home etc.
Activities, fun and adventure (reason 3)
There needs to be fun, activities and adventure. I bet that what young people find fun and adventure is not the same as the older naturist calls adventure and fun. The same can be said about activities – I could imagine that bodypainting, canoeing, yoga, meditation, tantra yoga, cooking courses, horse riding, diving, beach volley matches and many many other things would be more interesting than many of things you see at most naturist resorts. Petanque, arrow shooting and hiking seems to be some of the most common activities at naturist resorts at the moment. If you want to attract more than just the same old audience then you need to do something differently. Personally, I would love if there were more much more diversity in the activities. More activities like “The World Naked Bike Ride” – this is an activity for everybody including young people.
Body Image (reason 4)
I am convinced that we all look like ourselves with others. We’d love to be a part of a group and not stand out in the group. When you are young the urge to be a part of and accepted in a group is very large. This could actually be very good for a naturist society, I think most naturists are very accepting of other people without judging you on gender, age or size.
There is one problem, though – many young people have a big body image issue. The reason might be that they compare them self to photoshopped people in magazines, commercials and to celebrities. People which is unreachable in their perfection. This bad body acceptance makes it really hard to take the steps that it takes to be nude with other people. Thoughts like, “But the others are much more beautiful”, “All others are perfect”, “What if they see that I a have large hips”, “What if they see that I haven’t got perfect muscles” and I could write much more. This is actually a dilemma because this would also help them get out of their bad body image. This problem isn’t that big among people who are a bit older – because we get older we learn to accept that one’s body is not perfect, and therefore more accepting about our own body.
Body Image has a great impact on many people. I think diversity in clothes free environment can help acceptance of your own body because you will learn that we all have our great assets and flaws. But how do we make young people understand that naturist environments are for everybody? I think it would help if more people were invited to visit a naturist resort, naturist organization etc.
This was my thoughts about why I think young people are not that found about naturism. The question is – can we do something about it?
I believe we can!